It’s all over the news, it’s all anyone is talking about, and as parents you are probably wondering “Are my children safe?” I’m going to attempt to ease your mind a bit. Let it be known, I am not a medical professional, nor do I claim to be. What I am is a parent who does research and I implore you to do your own on any subject that you are curious about in regards to your children.
Okay, disclaimer out of the way…
You don’t need to worry about your kids getting Ebola. You can if you want, but you’d be better off using that energy to worry about the flu. According to the CDC, the flu killed over 48,614 people in America from 2003-04, and the numbers are only rising. The flu is airborne and can mutate in a way Ebola never has. And, by the way? That’s 48,614 to 1. Only one person in America as of the writing of this article has ever died of Ebola. That’s just on American soil–zero Americans have ever died of the disease. But the flu isn’t sexy, the flu doesn’t sell magazines or get you to tune into the local news to support advertisers. Plus, you can go to your local pharmacy and get a flu-shot right? Okay fine.
Here’s another disease you can worry about before you waste your time with Ebola: the plague. You know, as in the black one? Is that still around? You bet your fear mongering conservative news network it is! Between 1900 and 2010, 999 cases of the plague have occurred in America–80 percent of which were the bubonic plague. So doing some quick math, that’s roughly ten deaths by black plague a year. That’s, oh I don’t know, ten more deaths a year than Ebola.
All I’m saying is that if you are going to worry about your children dying from Ebola then you have to worry about all kinds of other things, like dogs. At least twenty people a year die from dog attacks in the USA–thats twice as many dog attack victims as plague victims annually! Are you worried about a dog killing your kid? No? GOOD. You shouldn’t. Confused? Yes, I said that if you were going to worry about Ebola killing your kids then you should worry about the flu, and the plague, and dogs, but my bigger point is that worrying about all of it is useless. If you worry about the world devouring your child whole every time they leave the house than you better wrap that kid in a plastic bubble and lock them in the basement for all eternity. Otherwise, just accept that shit happens.
How can I be so cavalier about children’s safety? Because you have to be, or neither you, nor them will have a fruitful, productive life, and some therapist is going to get rich off of your neuroses. I’m not saying don’t worry. But I am saying that worry about the things that you can control and teach your kids to be prepared for the rest.
For example, don’t just worry about Ebola, teach your kids not to get it.
This is just good advice in general. And if any of these things happen, for the love of god, take a shower. Much like the above mentioned plague, Ebola hates soap and water.
This should be self explanatory, but tell your kids not to mess around with dead bodies.
If you think your kids may be exchanging needles with other people, you may need to have a whole different talk with your children that doesn’t include Ebola.
And that’s pretty much it. Again do your own research, but Ebola will more than likely go the way of SARS, H1N1, and Triple E as far as disease flavors of the week and this time next year you’ll be freaking out about a whole new virus.
A parent’s worrying is never done.